10 Reasons to Play a First Level Wizard (Part 1)  

Posted by Michael Donaldson in , ,

In Dungeons and Dragons 3.x, the wizard is lauded as one of the most powerful classes in the game. Examples of their power include the 2d6-per-caster level "Disintegrate", the ominously breakable "Polymorph", and the easily metamagiced "Enervation" - all of which come from the core rulebook. As a player, however, I have noticed that the core spells at the early levels leave something to be desired - a wizard will fire off his three magic missiles and then resort to being a flimsy, unskilled crossbowman.

Scouring my sourcebooks, I embarked on a journey to find 1st level spells for our fledgling facemelter. After all, we wouldn't want the player to get bored before you start having to worry about him completely upsetting the game balance in a single turn.

This is Part 1 of 3.

NUMBER TEN - Slide (Spell Compendium p.191)

Slide is an interesting spell with some amazing possibilities. Often overlooked by the unimaginative, it takes some tricky placement to utilize but offers flexibility that many other spells lack. At close range, you may pick one creature, and that creature slides 5 feet in a direction you choose. The movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity. As a readied action, this spell can ruin enemy attacks and keep yourself from harm (used on yourself or an ally, no will save hampers your casting). Furthermore, the text specifically indicates that shunting a creature off of a ledge or over/into danger is both a valid use of the spell and offers no additional save.

It's a tricky one, but undoubtedly more fun than 1d4+1 force damage.

NUMBER NINE - Guided Shot (Spell Compendium p.108)

This spell really shines when you consider the synergy you can get from it in combination with other spells. On its own, it allows you to ignore penalties to a ranged attack due to distance, cover, or concealment if you can still legally target them (i.e., not outside the maximum distance for a weapon, target does not have total cover). Not so bad - but somewhat dubious as a standalone spell.

Let's try to imagine for a second how this spell changes when you pop a true strike before activating this spell. Did I mention guided shot is a swift action? That's right folks, we're looking at +20 crossbow bolts nailing someone from 1200 feet away. Guards at this range will have -240 to spot and listen if you choose to snipe them, so all you have to worry about is the guard rolling a natural 220.

Replace"1200' Crossbow" with "Perfect 50' Greatsword Toss" and watch general lulz commence.

NUMBER EIGHT - Wall of Smoke (Spell Compendium p.235)

As a first level spell, you might be asking yourself why you need another obscuring spell. Doesn't the mostly-useless obscuring mist do enough for my concealment needs? Well, what if I offered you an obscuring wall of smoke that nauseated enemies?

Oh yes.

With this spell, you can create one 10' block of nauseating smoke (fort negates), per level, as long as they form a straight line. This provides concealment to creatures past/in the smoke, and seriously pwnfaces some obscuring mist in the cool catagory.

As a side note, this spell retains its usefulness well into the later levels, where nauseated is still a crippling condition.

This entry was posted on January 10, 2010 at Sunday, January 10, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Interesting list, definitely some spells I hadn't found myself.

Thanks for the list so far you've definitely made me want to play a wizard the next time I play.

January 11, 2010 at 4:47 PM

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